December 16, 2004
CHICAGO, IL — The renovation of the historic Biograph Theatre kicked off yesterday with a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony in front of the former movie house in Lincoln Park.
Acquired by the famed Victory Gardens theater company, the 90 year-old Biograph is being converted into a new venue for the troupe, which will include a 299-seat main auditorium and a 128-seat studio, as well as rehersal spaces.
The total cost of the transformation is expected to run $9 million, of which Victory Gardens already has over $8 million in the bank. Both members of the theater company and city officials braved chilly temperatures for the ceremony, which is expected to open “at the end of 2005”. The Biograph’s facade, a neighborhood landmark, will be retained.
Read the full report from the Chicago Tribune.
December 1, 2004
Back to the Blueprint, a new restoration program now airing on The History Channel is looking for current theater restoration projects for an upcoming episode. Entire program will be filmed over the course of a week in either January or February.
The program is a hands-on, interactive look at the hard work involved in restoring historic homes and properties. We try to give background into why homes and structures were built as they were, the materials and tools used, and what we can do to restore and renew these structures for the future.
Our host, Marty Dunham, himself comes from a contracting background, and we have him work side-by-side taking 2-3 projects, or portions of, from start to finish. Prior episodes have focused mainly on residential styles including NY Brownstones, Chicago Bungalows, Sears Catalog Homes and Shotgun Homes. We’re very interested in expanding the scope of the show with an episode on theaters.
I would love to speak with any owners, architects or contractors who are working on projects that might fit in with our format and filming schedule. I can be reached , and I look forward to speaking with you all.
Also, the series airs Saturdays at 5:00 PM ET/PT, 4:00PM CT & 3:00 MT, if you’d like to get a visual idea of the format!
A & E Television Networks/HTV Productions
November 9, 2004
EAST ORANGE, NJ — The Hollywood Theater is on its way back. According to the Star-Ledger, a new renovation has begun which will transform the theater into a five-screen multiplex.
After 20 years of being boarded up, a New York City developer has steel workers, electricians, masons, roofers and laborers working in and around the once-famed movie house — at 634 Central Ave., near the Orange border — for a grand reopening.
“We’re doing a gut renovation, to create a brand-new fiveplex movie theater,” said Schwartz, whose father, Albert Schwartz, owned the building just before it closed in the early 1980s. “Four of the theaters will feature stadium seating, and one will be a traditional theater.”
Read more details in the full report.
November 8, 2004
FLINT, MI — CT volunteer Gary Flinn has sent us another update about the Capitol Theatre.
Hello again, Patrick and Ross.
I took pictures of the Capitol Theatre today. This week, the painting of the arcade canopy was finished and it looks great. Work on the vertical sign is underway. The neon tubing was removed and the sign was power washed before painting started. On Saturday morning, the sign was painted all white. When I returned in the afternoon, the painters were working with the final blue and yellow colors. Attached are pictures.
November 2, 2004
DOVER-FOXCROFT, ME — With the installation of a new marquee, Center Theatre now proudly presents a new, or is it old, face on Main Street.
In current terms, one might call it retro. The new fixture was designed by Neocraft Signs of Lewiston, Maine and was installed on the facade on Friday, October 29th. The design is meant to recreate the look of the original marquee erected when the theatre was built in 1943. An official lighting “event” will be planned for the near future.
September 30, 2004
The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency is buying the 350-seat Reseda Theater as a linchpin for suburban renewal at Sherman Way and Reseda Boulevard, according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News.
And at least two community groups have expressed interest in relighting the vintage neighborhood marquee that for decades drew lines around the block for top movie hits.
September 28, 2004
EAST GREENVILLE, PA — The Valley Theatre recently received a new lease on life after the new owners reconsidered the final business use for the building.
Originally, Grand – Valley Holdings LP was committed to restoring the original appearance of the building but to level the floor and use the former theater for retail use. Due to the lack of support the theater received in recent years, it went to sheriff sale this past March 2004. Given the lack of patronage by the community to the theater, the partners initially thought its hopes to be re-opened were non-existent.
After dozens of calls and numerous people stopping by the theater since the partners' August 20, 2004 acquisition, the firm decided to give the 1924 Neo-Classical revival theater another shot.
September 22, 2004
NEW YORK, NY — The recently shuttered Metro Twin has been taken over by a new tenant who plans to convert the Art Deco movie theater into an art house with wider screens and other upgrades, according to David Freeland in the New York Press.
According to his report, “A soon-to-be-named ‘celebrity operator’ has been hired to run the theater and scout out cutting-edge films from around the world. If all goes according to plan, the new Metro could be unveiled as early as November.”
September 21, 2004
With the work on the exterior of the theater nearing completion, including the restoration and relighting of the historic marquee, the work is now beginning on the interior of the Fox. The first phase of the restoration of the inside of the building includes the lobby spaces, the balcony level and the basement.